Olive Creations at the Shops at Norterra
There are so many phrases that come to mind when trying to describe what I have found in Olive Creations: Hidden Gem, Best Kept Secret, Quiet Genius. Olive Creations embodies all of these ideas and so much more.
Often times you will find that a food enthusiast comes across a little shop tucked away; a place that you happen upon almost by accident or perhaps fate. A place filled with so much simple genius that you really don’t want to share it with anyone lest the next time you visit it is filled with throngs of people that may not have as much appreciation and respect for the cultivation of passion and love within those four walls. You desire to hold it close to your heart – and stomach – and protect it. I found this in Olive Creations and feel that no matter my personal fears, it is my duty to share this glorious place with you, our readers.
Olive Creations is located up in the Shops at Norterra. At first glance, this specialty store could be incredibly overwhelming. There are little kegs of olive oil and balsamic vinegars lined up all throughout the store, all labeled and providing specific detail on the ingredients and flavors included. This place is a mecca for the home cook! No need to be afraid, the staff is extremely informative and equally passionate about their wares.
I happened to have the distinct pleasure of meeting Momma and Papa Olive on my trip. They are both absolutely adorable and so incredibly passionate about the shop and all their wares. Filled with a tremendous amount of information, no one here will steer you wrong and you will leave feeling like you have been friends for years.
Momma Olive, or Pat, was full of great ideas on how to use the products. She shared with me some really great stories and amazing tips. Once such tip was regarding their certified vegan organic butter flavored olive oil – that was amazing. Not only did it taste just like freshly melted butter, the minute I sampled it on a small bit of bread I had a rush of ideas come to me. Popcorn, cookies, the list was endless. This is the perfect alternative for anyone that is trying to work on lowering their cholesterol or trying to lose weight or focused on eating clean.
Pat shared with me that she has had four heart attacks and that prior to Nicole and Dawn opening the store and making the product an integral part of her daily life, her cholesterol levels went from over 300 to 140. If that’s not a huge testament to the product, I don’t know what is. She shared with me that she drinks about 2.5 ounces of balsamic a day, usually the Espresso blend, and as a result she is no longer insulin dependant.
Chipotle EVOO: Pat uses this on air-popped popcorn, about an ounce or two, coating the serving bowl and then tossing in the popcorn and maybe a little drizzle on top. This flavor adds just enough zip to impart a really special pep to your popcorn.
Not into popcorn so much? Create a fabulous dressing or barbeque sauce using a 60/40 ratio of the Espresso Aged Dark Balsamic and Chipotle EVOO. Pat suggests that you try it drizzled over cheesecake or ice cream. Make sure when you visit, if you have the pleasure of meeting Momma Olive, ask for her family pork loin recipe using the Chipotle Olive Oil and the Espresso Aged Dark Balsamic.
They also have an amazing Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic that is a great addition to water as an alternative to sports drinks. It would also be amazing in a margarita or mixed with their Basil Olive Oil topped over pasta…or anything really. There is such a wide variety of choices for mixing and matching, you are sure to find not only some great products, but some inspiration for new dishes too.
Olive Creations also sells pastas and mustards as well as holding tasting and cooking lessons. My suggestion, as you may be a little overwhelmed by the amazing choices in front of you, would be to get their gift pack so that you can mix and match and try out the different flavors to find your favorites. You get four small bottles in a pack for only $18 – well worth the fun you will have experimenting!
My family had a lot of fun experimenting with the gift packs. We made some of their Southwestern Orzo which I paired with some shrimp that I cooked in the Chipotle Olive Oil. It was just slightly spicy, but packed with flavor. The addition of the chipotle along with the Southwestern Orzo was spicy, without being overpowering and the whole dish felt really light and refreshing.
We also had fun just pairing some of the olive oils with plain whole wheat pasta to see which flavors we enjoyed the best. I tried some of the balsamics with vanilla ice cream and the results were incredible.
Let us know when you visit and what you end up leaving with – but more importantly how you use it!
Olive Creations has a wealth of online information. They will also gladly ship their products so you can share your new favorite shop with all your friends and family around the country.
Olive Creations | 2480 West Happy Valley Road, Suite 1202 | Phoenix AZ | 623-587-6005
Disclaimer: Samples were provided complimentary to PhoenixBites for review purposes. However, this has no effect on our opinions and comments regarding our experience. View our Disclosure Policy for further explanation.